Spring 2018 — Consumerism

Section Opener
China

The Go Abroad Economics scheme has been running since February 2015, when a group of staff and students embarked on the inaugural trip to Dubai. At the heart of the scheme is hands-on learning about economics, allowing students to apply their knowledge and curiosity to real-life issues. Students are largely responsible for organizing the trips, including visits to businesses, government offices, and political and financial institutions. These trips provide students with a global perspective on Read more…

By oskarbirol, ago
China

A Snapshot of the Hong Kong Economy

Robert Campbell shares details about the GAE trip to Hong Kong. ‘Why does President Xi Jinping ’s foot hurt?’ ‘I don’t know—why?’ ‘Because he stepped on a Legco’ Over the winter holidays, the School of Economics conducted a trip to Hong Kong through their Go Abroad program, which brought twelve students to examine economics in China. During our ten days in Hong Kong, we visited political parties, opulent skyscrapers, vegetarian communes, bankers’ clubs, and abandoned Read more…

By oskarbirol, ago
2018 Prize Winners

Winner
Trust Me

Stian Sandberg explores the consequences of China’s proposed Social Credit System; a plausible future where trust is quantified. Imagine a normal day, except everything you do is recorded and judged by an algorithm whose parameters are entirely out of your control. The purchases you make at the supermarket, what news outlet you read, who you spend your free time with, all of which are used to calculate a number that represents just how trustworthy you Read more…

By oskarbirol, ago
China

The Cashless Society

James Baghurst examines the rise of mobile payment apps in China Recent Chinese innovation in the financial services industry is another chapter in the long history of Chinese contributions to the modern economy. Just as Chinese tea merchants in 806 AD were the first to conceive of a system of promissory notes known as ‘flying cash’ to circumvent the dangers and inconveniences of transporting large amounts of capital across the country, Alibaba and Tencent’s mobile Read more…

By oskarbirol, ago
China

Zipping The Pocket

Feiyang Shi discusses the motivations behind Chinese capital control policies and their implications on investor relations The last year has seen a series of Chinese governmental actions against capital outflows. Investigations have started on companies’ overseas investments and entities; related M&A activity expects setbacks and pressure has been building on the stocks of some Chinese companies. For consumers, new sanctions are now in force to cap citizens’ oversea withdrawals. Although these actions can help to Read more…

By oskarbirol, ago
Spring 2018 — Consumerism

Section Opener
Luxury

Luxury is back in fashion! According to a recent study by Bain & Co, the global luxury goods market — encompassing both luxury goods and experiences — has rebounded following a short period of decline. In 2017, the market grew by 5% to an estimated €1.2tr worldwide and is projected to grow at similar rates in coming years. Interestingly, the main engine behind the industry’s success has been a generational shift with 85% of growth Read more…

By oskarbirol, ago
2018 Prize Winners

Runner-Up
Poland’s Fragile Luxury

Robert Jacek Włodarski explores the unstable luxury goods market in Poland. When KPMG published a highly optimistic report on the £3.1bn Polish luxury goods market in 2015, its British counterpart stood at £40.2bn and continuously grew. Still, the auditing company was confident about the Polish market’s bright future. Since then, Poland has been shocked by a wave of bankruptcies of domestic firms and the withdrawals of some popular foreign brands. Whereas the luxury goods market Read more…

By oskarbirol, ago
Luxury

The Necessary Evil

Michal Solcansky explores the economic logic behind conspicuous consumption and its societal benefits. When Thorstein Veblen first suggested that some people tend to spend excessively in public to show off their wealth and power he probably did not imagine how popular the notion of conspicuous consumption would become. Squandering large sums is understandably very unpopular with the general public. The following joke illustrates how society may view conspicuous consumers: ‘Late 1990s. Two New Russians meet Read more…

By oskarbirol, ago
Luxury

Ethical Consumption in the Millennial Age

Lisa Suerken explores how millennials are making ethical purchasing decisions. Fairtrade, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, charity shops — the list goes on and on. In today’s society, we have been seeing a shift in terms of the value placed on certain types of goods. Leading experts from all areas of trade such as food, fashion, and jewellery are currently debating how and why people are increasingly seeking out ethical choices. A third of UK consumers Read more…

By oskarbirol, ago